World Bulletin/News Desk
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying salaries to rebel forces fighting in the Syrian revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, an Arab diplomat said on Saturday.
"The payment has been going on for months and the agreement was made on April 2 by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with logistical organisation from Turkey where some Free Syrian Army factions are based," said the source, who requested anonymity.
"The point of this is to encourage as many factions of the Syrian army to defect and to organize the FSA, control it and prevent any extremist organizations from joining it."
A spokesman for Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said on Saturday he was not aware of reports that the kingdom was funding Syrian rebels.
The United Nations says more than 10,000 people have been killed since violence broke out after Syrian government forces began a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters over a year ago.
Syria says at least 2,600 members of its military and security forces have been killed by what it calls foreign-backed "Islamist terrorists".
Western and Arab states, meeting on April 1, called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to adopt a peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan, withdraw his troops from Syrian cities and allow access for humanitarian aid.
They made no mention of arming the FSA but said they would "continue to work on additional appropriate measures with a view to the protection of the Syrian people".
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her government was supplying "communications equipment that will help activists organize, evade attacks by the regime and connect to the outside world" and was "discussing with other nations how best to expand this support".
Turkish president says operation around Jarabulus triggered by terror threat to southern Turkey
Kayed has entered his 70th day on hunger strike to protest his ongoing placement in "administrative detention" in Israel
Turkish Air Forces hit 11 of 12 targets with precise accuracy as part of anti-ISIL operations in Syria
Operation aimed at clearing Turkish borders of terror groups, supporting territorial integrity of Syria with residents in nearby Karakamis evacuated on Tuesday
Kazakhstan and Israel have reached an agreement on the joint production of Unnamed Aerial Vehicle (UAVs)
Azerbaijani Popular Front Party Vice Chair Faig Amirov arrested for financial ties to Fetullah Terror Organization or FETO
A 19-year old Palestinian was killed during clashes with Israeli forces near Hebron last week
Israelis also arrest 8 Palestinians in separate incident in the West Bank
No injuries in border town as Free Syrian Army seeks to retake nearby Jarabulus from ISIL
The UAE has agreed to provide Egypt's central bank with a $1 billion deposit for a duration of six years
A day after Israeli forces targeted Gaza, the Zionist regime air forces struck Syria